Salieri is a victim of legend. Everybody knows Pushkin’s dramatic poem in which the Russian poet represents the Italian composer as a talented musician but jealous of Mozart to the point of poisoning the genius who out-classes him. The success of the film Amadeus, moreover, has not helped to put Salieri in good light. What is important, however, is to understand that he was indeed a very fine musician, as appreciated in life as - unfortunately - disregarded in death. Falstaff, one of Salieri’s best works, was first staged in 1799. This opera marked, incidentally, a turning point for the European fortunes of Shakespeare. Undoubtedly the character of Sir John Falstaff had long been popular in England and his fame, in theatre, had spread also on the continent. The passage from theatre to opera, however, sanctioned an even greater success.